Article

Bedfordshire

conversationswithhank,com

 

Me: Alright, Buddy.  It’s time to go to Bedfordshire.

Hank: Where?

Me: Have I never told you about the Island of Bedfordshire?

Hank: Nope.

Me:  Well.  Bedfordshire is a dreamy island that lies in the South Sea.  Bedfordshire has many names in all languages and it isn’t on many maps, although Vasco de Gama and Captain Cook both made note of it’s position, but with vastly contradicting coordinates.  To get there you row a small boat from any of the Paracel Island Islets south-east keeping your eyes out for sea turtles and mind you don’t breach your boat on a coral reef  and row until your arms grow heavy and you start to yawn.  That is when you’ll spy the docks of Bedfordshire. It will most certainly be twilight by then.  It is almost always twilight when you reach the docks of Bedfordshire.

Hank: What is twilight?

Me: Almost dark.  Twilight is the color of the sky once the sun has set, but before it is full dark.  When you squint your eyes almost shut twilight is the color of the light between your pestanas (eyelashes).

Hank: (squinting) Oh.

Me: You can tie your boat up to any free dock on the Island of Bedfordshire and there is no need to worry about its safety.  Bedfordshire has a crime free history.  Once you walk up the white sand beach you will see a line of tiny cabins with sea faded pastel paint and short white picket fences.  You can choose any cabin with the porch light off.  That means they are empty and waiting for a visitor.  Can you see them? Have you picked one?

Hank: (nodding)

Me: The cabins on Bedfirdshire are perfect and simple.  They have two windows open to the sea breeze and a front and back door.  The walls are white washed and decorated with treasures the sea has washed up on the beach.  There is a small bathroom with all you could need and a bed just to your liking.

Hank: Just like my bed?

Me: Exactly!  Everyone has a bed preference.  You love your bed because it is the perfect amount of soft and slept in.  I love my bed because it is made of NASA space foam that aerospace engineers invented to stop space debris from ripping apart space ships and your Tia Alice likes a bed so hard it is about the same as sleeping in the road.  Everyone is different, but the beds of Bedfordshire are always to your liking.

Hank: What about pajamas?

Me: Always perfectly pressed at the bottom of the bed in the summer they are cool and fresh and never get bunchy when you toss and turn and in the winter they are toasty and snug.

Hank: And water?

Me: There is a bottle and a glass of fresh, spring water on the nightstand and once you have washed your face…

Hank: and brushed your teeth and faz xixi (peed)…

Me: Then you turn on your porch light, turn off your light and crawl into bed.  The sea breeze of Bedfordshire carries you off to the best, greatest, longest, nicest dreams you have ever had.  Dreams of huge dinners where you can eat any and all of the food without ever getting full, dreams the last for years, but when you wake up you feel refreshed, dreams of elephants and flamingos and winged horses…

Hank: Perfect dreams.

Me: Exactly.

Hank: That sounds the best, (yawning) but what about breakfast?

Me: Well, why do you think there is a backdoor?

Hank: Oh.

Me: When you wake up after you stretch the best morning stretch you find a bathrobe and walk out the back door into a practically perfect, private back garden full of flowers and fruit trees and birds welcoming the day, bees buzzing and your breakfast is waiting for you on a white iron table in the shade of an apple tree.  There is toast with cinnamon and sugar, hot chocolate and fruit.

Hank: That is my perfect breakfast.

Me: And after you eat and sit and sip your hot chocolate your clothes are cleaned and pressed and waiting for you inside.  And after you get dressed you open the front door of your cabin and turn off your porch light.  You carry your shoes and sock and walk barefoot down Bedfordshire’s white sand beach until you reach your dock and your boat.  You climb in and the tide catches you taking you so easily out to sea that you barely have to row only look back smiling at the coastline of Bedfordshire island.

Hank: (yawn)

Me: Goodnight, buddy.

Hank: Good night, my mama.

Me: (tucking him in, leaving his room)

Pai: (looking up from his obscure science paper) So, is that how you do it?

Me: (pause. getting paper and a pen) Yup.

Pai: (smiling)

Me: (writing it all down)